Most Talked About Social Media Sites that Failed

A digital autopsy of the failed Friendster social network (
Most Talked About Social Media Sites that Failed

The value of taking lessons from successes and failures of businesses is something only a good entrepreneur can grasp. The same works even for social media sites and almost all business types. Of course, experiencing what works and what doesn’t is still better than just plain rerouting from other businesses’ mistakes.

The common good in experiencing failure is, it lets a business pound harder in order to achieve success. That statement only makes sense to those who really want to succeed. For those tired of committing mistakes, too much failure should not be accounted to experience and it should end soon.

Some social media sites have their own ghost story when it comes to failure. The reason behind their unsuccessful attempt to rule the web is exposed to give future social media web developers and skilled social media marketers a clear path to take when it comes to usability, social friendliness and making an indirect and direct impact on social media users and consumers.

Here are top 10 lists of the popular social media sites that failed over competition.

10 – MySpace


Intended as a social entertainment site, MySpace suffered and failed, too. The site just failed to satisfy the users with what they offer – which is mostly old and not interesting. It is so unlike the user-friendly characteristic of Facebook which provided a better social platform that can accommodate massive audience. With Facebook, users connect with real people. With MySpace it’s just messages from unknown bands or celebrities. It also focused more on accommodating advertising over enhancing the site as a social platform.

9 – Friendster

This site actually started it all long before Facebook or Twitter. It gained popularity even for a short while. And their failure can be attributed to their lack of focus on the importance of social sharing and connecting. It has site loading issues which were never addressed and they failed to cope when the first waves of new users signed on. As Friendster struggles, Facebook and Twitter came by offering excellent user experience.

8 – Digg


This is a social news website, where the most interesting and talked about stories are found. Digg one failed because users are constantly looking for the best quality information and they will go find them wherever they may be. The site suffered from more competitors getting bigger share of the market because they have more features and are more updated. Other sites like Twitter and Facebook allowed users to easily share news and stories. Besides Diggs outsourced its community messaging, losing the personal touch other sites have.

7 – Xanga


Intended to be another version of MySpace, only the original MySpace was too cool to be beaten or outperformed. While it offered blogging opportunities for the users, there are just too many better blogging platforms which are more innovative and powerful.

6 – Orkut


This site came way ahead of Facebook. It should have taken advantage of the fact that it hits the market first. Unfortunately, the site was just too slow for an average American. Other social sites were faster. It is not search engine optimized because users can’t find it on search engines. If any value, this site gained short-term popularity in Brazil but it also fizzled out to oblivion after some time. It also did not offer any social sharing button which is an important feature of any social networking site.

5 – Diaspora


This is supposed to give Facebook a rivalry, but failed. The biggest advantage of Facebook is being user-friendly. This site asks users to install an app or ‘pod’ on a PC or server and installation takes some time, people don’t like it. It also has duplicated Google+ in terms of features, which by all counts is less than what Facebook has. The site did not really have the chance to even be known and it disappeared so quickly.

4 – Eons


This is supposedly a MySpace site – a social entertainment site which targeted the older generation. At the time it was launched in 2007, the target market – the baby boomers, were not yet ready for social media. And because of the target limitations, the site failed to capture on other demographics.

3 –


This is a social bookmarking site which failed because it imposed more limitations on user behavior through a new privacy policy which essentially defeats the site’s purpose which is to allow users to add, annotate, edit, and share bookmarks of web documents. It was clearly not in touch with online users’ behavior when it was sold out to big corporations. When it was relaunched, no one seemed to have bothered checking the links and other tools which were no longer working or useful.

2 – Yahoo Buzz


This is Yahoo’s answer to the growing network of social media site users. It was launched in February 2008 and was shutdown on April 2009. The site allows a user to share other’s content, share their own content and be able to edit what they’ve shared. It sends traffic to a website wanting to rank in search engines. Since Yahoo wanted to focus on core competencies to improve their business, they decided to shut down their social networking site.

1 – iTunes Ping


This is Apple’s music social network site that failed. The site is overly filtered which means that the site environment has too many restricting features that hinder the user’s experience. It only allows 30 seconds preview of song. This will drive users away since the time is not even enough to appreciate a song. Steve Jobs described it as a Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes but it failed Facebook integration as the Ping’s access is cut off, preventing the user to have access to the rest of the virtual world. The site is essentially a redundant service since there are other social media sites that allow easy sharing of music.

With Facebook being the benchmark when it comes to social media, launching a site that will outdo this giant is not impossible as long as that site knows what users want and what made them stick to Facebook. If that site can offer more than what Facebook can, then, Facebook’s glory days will be over.

As for Twitter, it has captured people’s attention because of its user-friendly feature and its ability to be very social. Users are able to express their thoughts and feelings without any hesitations and a user’s followers can easily share or mark a tweet as favorite. The only disadvantage we see in Twitter is the 150 characters limit per tweet. Somehow its between long enough to say something but way too short to express a point.

Either way, these two social media sites are never safe from a downfall for as long as there are witty innovators who are ready to take the challenge of outdoing what these two giant did. With the advancements in technology, knowing how to trigger user’s emotion and giving what users want; nothing is impossible in dominating the World Wide Web.

Social media marketing is on its peak because people are always on social media. The success of social media marketing will depend on which social media site was used in shouting out to the community the latest buzz about a business’ product or service. So choosing wisely where a brand’s online presence should be is vital.


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